Plans to remove and replace potentially dangerous cladding from two blocks of flats have been approved by Reading Borough Council (RBC).

The current cladding at the Honister and Hewitt buildings on Chatham Square, 20-40 Alfred Street, will be removed and replaced with “suitable non-combustible cladding”.

An external wall survey found unsuitable materials in more than one of the wall systems in use at the two buildings, which are 18 and eight storeys high, raising fire risk concerns.

Plans to remove potentially dangerous cladding at a nearby apartment block were approved in March after investigations revealed the flats were at “high risk” in the event of a fire.

READ MORE: ‘After Grenfell, it’s vital’: Decision made on removing ‘unsafe’ cladding from flats

And works to replace “potentially combustible” cladding at The Meridian apartment block on Kenavon Drive by the River Kennet were approved in February.

The following parts of the Honister and Hewitt buildings will be replaced:

  • External rainscreen cladding
  • A brick cavity wall
  • The render wall system
  • Balcony and roof terrace decking
The Honister and Hewitt buildings

The Honister and Hewitt buildings

The changes aim to meet the government’s Advice Note 14, which provides guidance for building owners with non-ACM materials in their external wall systems, including cladding and insulation.

Advice Note 14, which was issued in 2018 following the Grenfell Tower tragedy the year before, gives strong guidance to owners of buildings above 18 metres to ensure external wall systems are safe.

Grenfell-style cladding

Replacement of dangerous Grenfell-style cladding at buildings in Reading is almost complete, with works finished at three of four sites where the dangerous Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding was found.

READ MORE: Grenfell-style cladding removed from third Reading building

Cladding at Lawrence House was removed at the end of 2019, while cladding at Queen’s Court was removed in March earlier this year.

Work to remove and replace dangerous cladding at Crossway Point was delayed due to Covid-19 but completed in December 2020, while works to replace the cladding at Hanover House began in December 2020 and are expected to be complete by the end of 2021.